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Ruby on the Outside

de Nora Raleigh Baskin

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1075202,635 (3.96)2
Eleven-year-old Ruby Danes has a real best friend for the first time ever, but agonizes over whether or not to tell her a secret she has never shared with anyone--that her mother has been in prison since Ruby was five--and over whether to express her anger to her mother.

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Exibindo 5 de 5
The summer before she begins middle school, Ruby thinks she has finally found a best friend in her new neighbor Margalit. However, Ruby is hiding the secret that her mother is in prison. Just when Ruby thinks that Margalit will be her first friends she can ever share her truth with, she discovers that her mothers crime may have connections to Maralit's family. I found this book to be authentic and well reprehensive of thoughts and emotions of a young girl. I loved the development in Ruby throughout the story and reading about the power of friendship. I think this book would appeal to middle grade elementary students who enjoy realistic fiction. I think the characters and relatable and the story will hold their attention from the beginning to the end.
  traceycasey | Jul 16, 2021 |
It started out so strong. “Five stars!” I thought to myself after three chapters or so.

But then it just kind of petered out as it went along. The story strands got loose. The writing felt like it got weaker.

The book still gets three stars because it’s a creative premise with an insightful narrator, and I thought the author made a couple difficult but wise plot decisions, and it was an enjoyable read. But it could have been tighter. In fact, the book’s issues can, I believe, be blamed largely on poor editing. (There were also major oversights, like missing articles, commas in the wrong places, periods missing between sentences, and six things in a list when the narrator indicates that she’s about to make a list of seven. That stuff is distracting and easily avoidable.)

I’m a little sad this book wasn’t what it could have been. It could have been a hearty Newbery contender. ( )
  rhowens | Nov 26, 2019 |
Recommended Ages: Gr. 4-7

Plot Summary: Ruby doesn't have any friends. She's never had a really good friend and she's about to start middle school. Maybe it's because she's never told anyone the truth about her mom, who is in jail. When a new girl moves into the condo building, Ruby is hopeful Margalit can be her first true friend and the first person she's totally honest with. Can she spill the beans?

Setting: ? don't remember but Ruby had to move to be closer to the correctional facility in order to visit weekly

Ruby Danes - 11 y/o, about to start junior high, doesn't have any true friends
Matoo - (AKA Ma, Too)
Kristin - Ruby's friend from school and condo building, but they don't agree or have many things in common, not true friends
Margalit Tipps - new girl who moved into condo building
Nick Sands - Ruby's stepfather
Yvette and Beatrice - older girls who run a camp at the condo building pool over the summer

Recurring Themes: incarceration, friendship, honesty, family, apartment living, unconventional family, jail, visiting hours

Controversial Issues: none

Personal Thoughts: I can't speak to the authenticity, but I did think for someone who doesn't know what it's like to have a loved one in jail, this book was really good. Overall I really enjoyed this family drama. The characters were well developed and it was well-written.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Pacing: medium/fast

Activity: ( )
  pigeonlover | Oct 12, 2019 |
A great story! ( )
  mpettit7974 | Dec 21, 2017 |
At only 163 pages this book is packed with powerful messages about family, friendship, honestly, loyalty, and right and wrong. From the very first page I felt invested in Ruby’s emotional and social life. Ruby is only 11 years old and hasn’t spent a single day with her mother outside the walls of Bedford Correctional Institute in 6 years. The time she does have with her mother is spent in a visiting room under the watchful eyes of correctional officers and teeming with the emotions of other families, as they face a situation that most children would find unimaginable.
All of Ruby’s friendships have been understandably superficial, in an effort to protect her family “secret” she has kept her distance from other children. Understandably, she fears what would happen if her peers knew about her mother. While she longs for a best friend she remains an outsider. Things begin to change in Ruby’s life when she meets Margalit. Margalit is the type of best friend any girl would want, she is funny, and honest and has not an ounce of pretension in her body. Ruby is indescribably happy and has begun to let down some of her defenses and starts to grow close to her new friend. But when the two family’s histories seem about to collide Ruby must find a way to cope with what appears to be an insurmountable obstacle on the path to true friendship.

Note: In the book’s Acknowledgements Nora Raleigh Baskin thanks Jenifer McShane for the making of her documentary, “The Mothers of Bedford”. To learn more about motherhood at Bedford Correctional Facility go to: http://www.mothersofbedford.com/about-the-film-summary.php for information on the film. ( )
  knitwit2 | Sep 12, 2015 |
Exibindo 5 de 5
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Eleven-year-old Ruby Danes has a real best friend for the first time ever, but agonizes over whether or not to tell her a secret she has never shared with anyone--that her mother has been in prison since Ruby was five--and over whether to express her anger to her mother.

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